In the world of leafy greens, kale is King. It’s taste can range from slightly bitter to slightly sweet and packs a knockout punch of nutrients.
A member of the cruciferous family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and mustard greens. There are several varieties of kale including curly kale, dinosaur kale and ornamental kale, each different in taste and appearance.
To prepare kale, cut out the thick, tough stem running down the middle of each leaf. From there you can chop kale into strips and consume raw by massaging kale with avocado or oil or lightly steam (3-5 minutes max)
Kale is a popular veggie to aid in cancer prevention due to its sulfur-containing phytonutrients. It is also a source of carotenes, Vitamins B6 and C, and the minerals calcium and magnesium.
Crucifer vegetables like kale contain goitrogens, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with thyroid function (if you have an already existing or untreated thyroid problem.) By lightly steaming, the goitrogenic compounds can be deactivated as they are heat-sensitive. Check with your Naturopath or General Practitioner and use caution when consuming vegetables of the cruciferous family.
Here are some of my favourite kale recipes:
- Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: GMF Publishing, 2007.
- Murray, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005.